Waste Not, Want Not
Fertilizing Dos and Don’ts
If you are planning on fertilizing your lawn, be mindful of how your actions will affect your family, pets, lawn and the environment.
Never over fertilize. Always follow the directions on the label to make sure you are not using too much fertilizer for your lawn. Aside from the fact that chemical fertilizers are unsafe for your family and pets, excess fertilization weakens roots, increases watering needs, causes thatch and excessive growth, and pollutes waterways. Remember, twice as much will not do twice the job.
Check the weather. Fertilizing shortly before a rainstorm results in the fertilizer washing off of your lawn, making the application ineffective for its intended purpose. In addition to wasting your money, the rain carries the fertilizer to waterways via storm drains. Once in our waterways, the fertilizer stimulates excessive algae and plant growth which can result in fish kills.
One great alternative to synthetic fertilizers is “grasscycling” or leaving grass clippings on the lawn to decompose into the soil. Many people have found that grasscycling greatly reduces or completely eliminates the need for synthetic lawn fertilizers. Consequently, grasscycling can benefit your pocketbook, your lawn and your environment.
- Use chemical pesticides as a last resort. Pesticides can kill species that benefit the environment, as well as your target species.
- Pesticides may poison children and pets. Try non-toxic alternatives or use a lawn care service that offers such treatments.
- Use slow-release fertilizers.
- Store or dispose of leftover chemicals properly, not in the trash.
- NEVER dump anything down the storm drain.
Want to learn more about how you can reduce fertilizer and pesticide use? Become a Certified Master Composter or visit the Texas SmartScape™ official Web site.
For additional information, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides/controlling/garden.htm.